A JOYFUL REUNION

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, November 7, 2022, comes to us from Ravina Prabodh Diarsa of Gujarat, India.

1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Matthew 25:1-13NIV

 

A JOYFUL REUNION


We were excited when our daughter who lives in Canada informed us that she planned to visit us in India. We were particularly eager to see our 20-month-old grandson, Jonathan. We began to make extensive preparations for Jonathan as Indian climate, culture, and food are quite different than Canada’s. Our time as a family was unforgettably enjoyable. The joy of our reunion reminded me of another great reunion, the second coming of the Prince of Peace.


Jesus tells us, “I go to prepare a place for you” and “I will return and take you to be with me so that where I am you will be too” (John 14:2,3). But unlike my daughter’s visit, we have no idea when Jesus will come again. It will be wise for us to be prepared like the ten virgins who were ready when their bridegroom came at midnight. Until the Prince of Peace returns, let us wait patiently and expectantly.

 

Friends,

One of the foundational pillars of our Christian faith is the belief that Christ will come again. When will Christ come again? We don’t know. While some argue the book of Revelation outlines what must transpire before Christ returns. Such a viewpoint is inconsistent with what Jesus states about the end:


“32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” Mark 13:32-33 NIV


While there is debate on whether or not Revelation describes the end of creation, as we know it. What is key, is Jesus’ encouragement to be prepared for whenever the day comes. Christ calls us to live a consistent, genuine, faithful, and faith-filled life, so that whenever creation ends, we will be found living in reverent devotion to God through Christ. I invite you to dedicate yourself to live each day committed to be the best follower of Christ you can be.

--Pastor Anthony

 
Prayer:

Dear Lord, help us always to remember that we are strangers on this earth (see Hebrews 11:13). Teach us to remain faithful as we wait for Jesus to return. We pray as Jesus taught us, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:9-13 NIV). Amen.

-- Ravina Prabodh Diarsa


Prayer Focus:

Families who live far apart.


Thought for the day:

Christ’s return will be a joyful reunion.